I would like to introduce myself and share my new ride with all of you.
I am Travis a.k.a. StonedLlama, and have been around the Subaru forums (3g and NASIOC) for sometime now. I recently sold my 2008 WRX that was modded, and picked up a shiny used bone stock 2007 Lexus IS250, silver on black with Nav and HID's. I don't plan on heavily modding this car, as I have learned my lesson with the Subies, but I do have some small upgrades in mind. I have already ordered and will soon install my OEM paint-matched trunk spoiler. I also recently had a new windshield installed, fresh tires put on and the general services refreshed.
I did take the time to read all the combined threads of mods people regret getting, and have some questions for you more seasoned Lexus owners! Firstly, are people only unpleased with the F-Sport blue springs because they don't provide much drop? Do they offer any difference in ride quality compared with stock IS250 springs, and how will they ride on stock struts? Are there any known issues with this configuration, or in combination with Sport Sway Bars?
The only performance modifications I am looking to add would be F-sport or IS-F Springs, Sway Bars, and the Intake. Knowing that I do NOT want to dump this car on coils, I would be very happy with a half inch to one inch drop, and some decreased body roll. However, I do not want to compromise ride quality in terms of commuting comfort. Can anyone chime in to tell me if the F springs on stock IS struts feel stiffer? Any advice or anecdotes of experience would be greatly appreciated. (I am hoping that they are just lower, not stiffer, and that people take them off all the time because they want to drop on coils, so I can get a set cheap!?!)
Visually, I am already adding the OEM trunk spoiler, and I will most likely be ordering a Roof Spoiler as well. Other than that, I think I will stick to HID and DRL upgrades, and possibly tint my tail lights 35% to match the windows when the time comes. I just heard about a new Plasti-Dip product for Smoke transparent paint!? I will check that out, and keep you all posted of my findings. I would love to get pulled over for tinted tail lights, and tell the officer they are just really dirty, and peel the crap off of them... HAHA!
Moving on to lighting, can anyone tell me from experience if I need the decoder modules to run LED DRL's? I also want to know what people do for the little parking light also present in the high beam area? Do you change it out with the same bulb as the DRL/Highbeam, to keep the look and color the same? Can it be disabled? What are my best options for White or Blueish fog light replacement bulbs that won't require HID mods, or decoders? My research is pointing towards 9005 and 9006 120 SMD LED White or Blue replacement bulbs for DRLS/FOGS, without any decoders. Is this a big mistake?
Here are some pictures of the car as I purchased it, cracked windshield and all, next to my buddies BMW. Good place to start :-)
And here she is with blacked out badges and the wing I just installed half way through writing this post... :-P
All feedback is appreciated, but please keep it constructive!
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Welcome to CL. Sounds like you know what you want. I can't speak for the F Sport spring because i Wanted to be as low as I could on coils. I do recommend the F Sport Sway bars because they reduce body roll quite a bit. I do agree that most people don't like the springs because they're in search of a larger drop. Since you want to be able to commute, you don't want a harsh ride. I like the red outs on the tails as is now but that's just me. Here's a good place to start and theres suspension pics there too. http://www.clublexus.com/forums/is-s...iy-thread.html
Welcome! I too came from Subarus....7 in the past 10 years to be exact We still have our built STI but I'm trying to talk my husband into selling it and getting something more reliable. It wasn't easy but I think he is on board lol!
You'll love the IS....while it is slow it is still fun to drive (I hope you at least got the 6sp ) and it looks beautiful even stock.
Current '08 IS250 '08 ISF '93 Toyota Soarer GT-T Gone & Missed '06 Subaru Legacy GT SpecB '01 Subaru RSTI '08 Subaru STI
Welcome! I too had an 05 wrx. Its was a fun car. The F sport springs will only drop it by half an inch over stock depending on what structs you use. Alot of members go H&R sprimgs which I think will be the best drop in terms of comfort and looks but it will drop it over what you planned on getting.
2008 Lexus ISF
2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Limited AWD
2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X
2007 Lexus IS350, 2006 VW Jetta GLI, 2005 Subaru WRX, 2004 Mazda RX8, 2002 BMW M3, 2000 Honda Civic Si, 1991 Toyota Supra Turbo
Number one performance update should be the sway bars. World of difference.
The intake will do nothing in terms of adding power but if you like the look and sound of the open airbox go for it. Just wanted to make sure you were aware of this.
I can't comment on what springs to get as I got coilovers for performance reasons but if you bought an 8 year old car I would recommend getting new struts as well if you are going to replace the springs. It will cost you no more to install then compared to just springs and they are probably getting to the point (or past) needing replacement. Also I really wouldn't rule out coilovers quite yet. You don't have to slam the car and the adjustability of them can actually make the car ride better then just springs. My BC's ride great even with the 12/10K spring rates and there is no noise with them. Most people in the forums are way happier with coilovers for both performance and comfort reasons compared to just springs.
Still on the hunt for a set of sway bars, but I pulled the trigger on a set of brand new F-Sport springs I found locally.
I thank you for the advice, Sportskid, but I will not be considering coilovers at this time. I want to keep the car rolling on OEM parts as long as I can, to keep the resell value higher, and my audience bigger. I have had trouble, and lost a lot of money, selling modified cars in the past. Coilovers are undoubtedly more expensive, and will almost never make my ride more comfortable. Improved handling, of course, but overall comfort versus OEM ride quality will suffer. My track days are over, so OEM it will be.
I will consider your advice to replace the struts, as I had not fully considered their age before. Can anyone comment on the F-Sport struts? Do they offer any difference in ride compared to stock struts?
Thanks for all the feedback, it is much appreciated!
I am taking my first road trip with her from California to Arizona this week! I will report back my results.
Oh, by the way, I tinted the windows in preparation for this little adventure, 30% all around.. :-)
I have F Sport springs/shocks/rear sway bar suspension and AM EXTREMELY happy about this combo. To sum everything up: It is butter smooth as stock on daily driving and handles like a champ when you push it hard.
I'm more into functional than look and have tested out this set up on multiple autocross and it handles lovely. There are couple members who also like it.
Also, F Sport whole suspension system is tested and TUNED by Lexus on Willow Springs track together with the parts provided from Eibach, Bilstein and others. I will link a full review of this set up on the next post.
I have read your reviews, and that is just the information I was looking for! Now I just need to source a cheap set of IS-F Struts, as I already have the springs. Since I'm just over 130k on the chassis, I think it would be best to replace the struts as well. I will also pick up the F+R F-Sport sways based on everyone's recommendations, and have that all installed at one time to save on re-alignment. That ought to kill the mod itch for a while, hopefully ;-)
I would like to say that I took my first road trip with the IS250 and have some mixed feelings. For 2 people, this is a great car, with plenty of space. However, adding a third person to the mix, with 2 tall passengers, can be a bit challenging. We did manage to find a comfortable arrangement, but leg space was at a premium for someone at all times. I did choose the IS for handling and performance reasons over other Lexus models, but I am missing those extra inches of leg room that I had in my Subaru... In any case, the ventilated leather seats and tinted windows kept us more than comfortable during our travels. Only other negative complaint would be cruise control's performance up hills. It can't find the right gear sometimes, and over works itself. Simple enough to just put it in Sport mode, and change gears if necessary, but still a tad bit annoying.
Side note, I just picked up the TIS Techstream cord and software for our vehicles, so I will be able to adjust the dealer settings such as DRL disablement and key re-programmings. If anyone in the SF Bay Area cannot get a dealer to make changes to their IS for free, I'll be happy to assist anyone with this. You can also pick up the cord and software yourself on Ebay for about $22-$26. Way cheaper than the $50 some dealers are charging!
Got some more dipping done on the Lex this weekend. Also installed some super cheap 5SMD LED Parking lights. (They were .99 on ebay, and making the world a better place as far as I am concerned)
Remember folks, these are only the parking lights, not my DRL/HighBeams... I ordered software to disable the DRL's so I can keep my HighBeams without compromising my style preference. These will be a very close match to the 6500k HID replacement bulbs I will be ordering.
I also black-dipped my wheels, chrome window trim and chrome Lexus logo on the steering wheel. First I had to clean all the damn break dust off my front wheels. It had been caked on by the previous owner for thousands of miles, and is the primary reason I am dipping the wheels black in the first place.
And here are some pics of the final product, sorry for the poor scenery, time was limited.
And my favorite...
That is all for now folks! Time to save up for the rest of my F-Sport goodies...
For the DRL bulbs I went with some $30 ebay ones that came with decoders. The decoders weren't good enough and I still had some flicker. However, a quick email to the seller and they sent me out new (much bigger) decoders at no extra cost and now the DRLs work perfect and look awesome. I can also still use my high beams and they are actually still quite decent. Maybe not as bright as stock high beams, but brighter than just headlights.
Also did HID fogs, once again, around $30.
And then I had to get the xenon depot 6000k HID bulbs to match
And to finish everything off, I replaced most of the interior bulbs, parking lights, and reverse lights with LEDs.
Good stuff Getafewliv! Thanks for the info, and your lighting looks to be on point! I am just weary of those Ebay decoders, but the HID fogs are quite luring. I think I will be happy enough just shutting off the DRL's, and getting some HID fogs.
In the mean time, here are some much better photos of my fresh dip job. (Wheels, Badges, Grill, Window Trim and L on steering wheel)
Car is filthy from the AZ road trip still... :-(